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Henry Wall from the district services board is hoping new money will correct an existing shortfall.

"The operating dollars certainly didn't transpose to what it costs to operate housing in our district," he said.

Over the last decade, the province has been uploading some of the responsibilities relating to social services. These have included drug benefits, ODSP and Ontario Works. According to the Ministry for Municipal Affairs, this has amounted to almost $2 billion.

The uploads were meant to translate into relief for property taxes, but this hasn't happened in the district. With more than a thousand units in its care, the services board wasn't looking forward to the end of previous cost-sharing agreements. They were tied to mortgages due to expire starting next year.

"We can't afford to lose any housing stock," Wall emphasized. "So, what we need to do, as a district services board -- in partnership with non-profit housing providers -- in order to ensure existing housing stock is sustainable."

The costs associated with public housing were downloaded to municipalities in the mid-1990s. Earlier this week, Ottawa and Queen's Park announced a $4.2 billion agreement on housing.

Across the province, the new agreement is meant to help 130,000 units. The services board is hoping to add more than a hundred new housing units over the next two years.

Wall adds housing strategies will be of key interest to the service board, during the provincial election campaign.

For more information:

More housing needed

Provincial uploads

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